Threadlocker nightmare

threadlocker

I REALLY HATE OVERUSE OF A THREADLOCKER, especially on tiny headed screws.
One bit of over pressure aka too much torque or force and the screw ALWAYS shears for me!

So how to get round that seeing as though solvents just don’t work.
Simple really (sort of).
You need to heat the work to 450-600 ºF (232-315 ºC).
A screw, sunk into nicely blued metal work, important metal work, i.e. my rifle!

I thought of using a soldering iron.
I’ve got a little 30 watt one only solder melts at about 360-370 °F (180-190 °C) so it wasn’t up to the job. Ho hum, time to up the ante.
Thus I simply heated an old screwdriver using a blow lamp to just under red-hot and stuck it in the slot. Within seconds that nice smell of overheated thread locker wafted up and a quick swap to the proper screwdriver extracted the screw easily.

“Nice one”, I thought until reassembling the unit.
The now cleaned screw wouldn’t go in smoothly as the existing thread locker had melted and filled the bottom of the screw hole.

arghyell

Nothing is ever easy is it!
Reading the manufacturer’s frequently asked Q&A, was this little gem.
No solvent will wick into the joint to break the threadlocker down. This is either hand tool removable at room temperature or if not, it requires high temperatures of 450-600°F to separate parts. Do not let this cool down first. Otherwise, it will resoldify.

Gee thanks guys you’ve made my life so easy!
Resolidify it did, right at the bottom!

Only it went on to say:-
Solvents like methyl ethyl keytone and methylene chloride can be used for clean-up of residue only after disassembly.

Like I’ve got a bottle of ethyl keytone or methylene chloride in my toolkit. (NOT!)

Changing tactics a bit I found two solutions.
Note this was for a screw drilled and tapped into METAL.
This is not a suitable method for plastics.

  1. A nail just small enough to enter the hole, roasted it with the burner and OUTSIDE, aka in the open, dropped it into the tapped hole. What I’d made was an impressive little smoke bomb! The thread locker burnt off and I was good to go.
  2. Know what solder wick is? You use it to remove solder off joints.
    It looks like flat coax braid but is coated in solder flux.
    solderwick
    You heat the joint with a soldering iron and press the wick on top and it sucks the solder away.
    Only I wrapped a length round my now knackered old screwdriver, heated the blade, and dunked the wick into the screw well. Once again a fair amount of smoke BUT the wick worked as advertised and on removal it was colored green from the threadlocker. Just enough heat to do the job.

So did I use threadlocker again? That would be a no.
The screw was replaced and a drop of sealing wax dripped on top.
Still there after a year so I must have got it right.

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6 Responses to Threadlocker nightmare

  1. shtfprepper says:

    I’ve only used a medium strength thread locker once. On a small set screw behind my rifle’s trigger to take out the extremely miniscule wiggle (movement to rear)
    http://www.permatex.com/products/thread-compounds/permatex-surface-insensitive-threadlocker-blue-2/

  2. Rifleman III says:

    So many products. Thread locking compounds are in various strengths, for appropriate use. I happen to like (since 1969) Indianhead gasket shellac. When that is not obtainable (local stores hardly carry it anymore), nail polish will hold a machined thread snug.
    Did not know about the heat application. Very good, thank you.

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